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Where do you put your best inter-connects? I have 3 rca cables in my system. The best one is between my amp and pre-amp. 2nd best between dac and pre-amp. 3rd between my phono pre and pre-amp. My turntable has a captive cable. I listen to digital more than vinyl even though I listen to vinyl for my most critical listening. I figure the best cable between amp and pre-amp gets used every time my system is on. I may swap the cables between dac and phono pre. All are Audioquest. Niagara, Water, and Colorado respectively.
This topic comes up from time to time with a number of responses. In my experience, the key issue is potential synergy between any two connected components, and how the order of cables that are placed within the signal path affects system synergy as a whole. Good, better, best in reverse order within the signal chain may provide exactly what you seek, but maybe another configuration in no particular order of price or performance level will provide a better sounding result according to your own listening taste and the particular audio system involved. So the best answer in my opinion is to try every conceivable order in which the cables can be placed, and choose the configuration that you simply like the best. There are no rules to break in this regard.
Power cords are another example of the order in which cables are placed, and they are very much associated with interconnect cables. Power cords function in tandem with interconnect cables, and depending on the components involved in a system will make a great impact on how an audio system sounds. In my experience, there is no particular order in which to place good, better, best power cords within a system. Placing a 2nd or 3rd rate power cord on a power amplifier that is the last component in the signal chain might step on the sound of a system in a manner that is completely unacceptable to a listener. Swapping-out power cords is just as important as swapping-out interconnects in order to find the best sounding configuration according to the listening taste of an individual listener.
I would stick with the way you have it. it sounds like the best plan to me.
I've always made sure source is the best.
I've invested a ton of in cables, I always make sure the source is taken care of first. then go down the chain.
after over 20 years at this I've improved down the chain as well, so no more worry.
if you listen to turntable critically use the better one on the turntable.
in my case DAC to pre has best interconnects, then pre to amp, then speaker cable. my fiber cable is Audioquest also the Diamond, I am a big fan of audioquest as well, they do a great job.
That's what I was taught. But just to make sure, I use the same cables between all my components, and the speaker cables are made by the same mfr. They only make one IC and one speaker cable.
Since the speakers contribute the most to the sound of a system I think the speaker cables are critical. For interconnects since I stream almost exclusively the interconnects from my dac to my pre is the most important Then pre to power amp
A road to confusion since there are folks who love to play guru and claim that the only choice can be source first. blah blah blah..
Or some other THEORY of why XXX is what you MUST do.
When, in fact, if you can't HEAR a difference, then, for you, there IS no difference. (this is my playing at being a Guru)
But if you are really uptight about it, I am certain someone will say something to convince you to do it their way (instead of listening for yourself to decide)
For my own current setup, My better cables are on pre to amp, Tube buffer to preamp, and pre to head amp.
The 'lesser' type cable are on phono to pre, DAC to buffer. 2nd CD to buffer. These placements all based on listening and swapping them around.
If I bought anther $1,100 IC pair, it would go on 2nd CD to pre
amps > pre has always benefitted most.
Since I just have ICs there and CDP > pre it was an easy choice.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
Not that I can't hear the difference. I would have to move equipment to actually try them in different combos. My most expensive cable is shortest. Just looking for opinions to see if it's worth the trouble.
Btw BH, I also have AQ Diamond digital cables which are fabulous.
When I was young, I would buy/make short cables, thinking 'just right' would be best.
Then I found them to be a problem the next time around, when I wanted to MOVE anything.
Now I consistently buy 5ft (1.5 meter) IC. They do cost a little more upfront (like my current IC, 1 meter is $900, 1.5 is $1,200 list price)
The $300 bucks is money well spent when I want to move something around later. I NEVER have to worry about what cable fits where. (some cable companies charge full price for that extra.. so it would depend on the brand too.)
I have a pile of old handmade 'junk' which is all too damn short for most anything. LOL
It is worth the trouble if you hear a difference
Thanks for the responses. The cable between the amp and pre-amp is the short one. AQ Niagara. I put the Colorado in place of it and right away noticed a loss of tonal purity. The Water was better but not as good as the Niagara. So I am going to leave the Niagara there. The Water was superior to the Colorado in between phono pre and pre-amp, and also between Dac and pre-amp. Guess it's time for another upgrade.
All my cables are AudioQuest with CastleRock bi-wire speaker cables and a combo of NRG 4 and 10 power cables. As previously stated AQ Diamond digital cables, USB and SP/DIF rca's.
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